Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shout Out to Baby Katrina!

Shout out and congratulations to Jami and Andy and three proud siblings for the new baby girl at their house. She arrived on Monday February 26th at 11:08 am. YAY for Jami not being pregnant anymore and YAY for healthy new babies!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Drunk Love

You might think I’m writing about my feelings for my DH, but that’s not really the point today. It’s about great projects that I need to get started on.

Annzy hipped me up to a great quilt pattern called Drunk Love by Denyse Schmidt. I love it! Annzy, of course, has already made this one and two or three others in the time it’s taken me to decide that I can make a queen size quilt. Actually, it’s totally within my abilities. It’s just one of those projects that are big enough to be intimidating.

The DH and I sleep under a feather comforter in the winter, but as soon as it starts to get over 40 degrees at night, it’s just too hot. We need something lighter weight and I’m a stickler for matching.

I got the DH to accompany me to his not-so-favorite store, JoAnn’s, where we picked out 4 reds. I hope you find them as delightful as I do. I really like them and can’t wait to see how this shapes up. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day Redux

Patrick and I are improving on the Valentine’s Day front. Yesterday was a delightful day of work, followed by a 90 minute commute home, ending in pizza from Papa Murphy’s and watching CSI on the couch. We also had small gifts for each other that were given thoughtfully. We really are learning.

Valentine’s Day really is a silly holiday. It just creates icky expectations for single people. I think it’s great when you’re in second grade though. Sharing valentines and getting conversation hearts is wonderful.

The day did give me a moment to reflect on love, however, and I wanted to share an amazing quote by one of my all-time faves. It’s from C.S. Lewis:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. "
I’ve played at wrapping up my heart and putting it away and I have to say that being vulnerable sure beats being safe any day of the week.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Shout out to The Duchess!

Let's all hear it for The Duchess of Yarnation! It's her birthday today and she's fantastic! Whether it's her birthday or not, I think she's a great example of someone who follows her passion. I can't wait to see what she's doing next in knitting projects and in life.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Valentine's Day Valentine's Day, that is...

The DH and I aren't very good at Valentine's Day. It started when we were dating. For the record, we didn't get serious until March, but we both really liked each other in February.

I'm seriously deficient at being able to take risks, so I wanted to let Patrick know I liked him without putting anything on the line. Go figure. He's the same way. What a great combination.

Before our Valentine's Day date, I picked out the perfect card. It was just the right mix of "I like you" and "you're OK" without jumping up and down and saying I was really into him. At the same time, he had purchased a stuffed Valentine's bear. You'd think we could just be straight with each other and give each other these heart-felt gifts. But, if you thought that, you'd be wrong. We're far more pathetic than that.

After dinner, we chatted in my living room, at arms length of course. Then Patrick said goodbye and I didn't give him the card and he didn't give me the bear. He left after I said goodbye. But that's not the end of the story. He came back from his car and abruptly said, "I got you this." As he shoved the bear in my direction, I said, "oh, I forgot to give you this," and shoved the card in his direction.

Then he left for real and we both felt like complete idiots. When I shared this with my friend Lori at work the next day, she concluded that we were meant for each other. There are no two bigger invertebrates. We should not inflict ourselves on anyone else.

Happy Valentine's Day, DH!

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Worst Business Trip -- EVER

A week ago, I had a business trip to Las Colinas, Texas, just outside of Dallas. It was, by all accounts, my worst business trip ever – and I mean EVER. I’ve traveled quite a bit and consider myself quite comfortable arriving places I’ve never been to before and I’m not familiar with. I wasn’t worried at all about my trip. I got my MapQuest maps before I left so I’d be able to get from the airport to my hotel, from the hotel to the office, and back to the airport. I was all set.

Things started going awry as soon as I arrived at the airport. I went to the check-in kiosk and the computer couldn’t find my reservation. Confused, I went to the counter to find out that my reservation had been cancelled when the payment didn’t go through. I’d made the reservation through American Express corporate travel, so I was very confused. I called AmEx travel to find out why I didn’t have a ticket. They said it was a “computer glitch” that happened when their computer went to pay with a credit that I had from a previous cancelled flight. They reinstated the flight (at $200 more than the original ticket) and filed a complaint for me so I could get the money back.

With ticket in hand, I set out for the plane that was a half hour late. For once, I was actually happy with the delay as I didn’t have to stress about getting to the plane on time even with my ticketing issues. The flight was uneventful, which in the grand scheme of things really is the most important part of the story. I was safe the whole time, even if I was miserable by the end of the trip.

When I arrived in Dallas, I rented my car and left the airport with my map in hand. What I hadn’t realized before setting out on my drive to the hotel is that the airport is 5 miles north to south. My map was leaving from the north end of the airport, but the rental location put me leaving the airport at the south end of the airport. Dallas is a maze of highways. The hotel was 7 miles from the airport with highway the whole way. In a perfect world, this would have been a 10 minute trip. In my alternate universe, it was almost an hour, including my trip into and out of Dallas proper. Ugh! By the time I got to the hotel, it was 10:00. I was hungry and a bit grumpy, so I just wanted dinner and sleep. At the front desk, I asked about room service. The answer was, no. There is no room service there. I had to go out again and find some dinner. After finally finding a Taco Bell, I got dinner and found my way back to the hotel. Sleep at last!

The next morning, I had to be at the office at 8:00. Did I mention that it’s 2 hours ahead of Seattle? That’s like being at work at 6:00 Seattle time. I was a bit tired. The reason I was in Las Colinas was to facilitate a round-table discussion. Normally, this is an easy task for me. Also, I listened in on a similar call in Charlotte a few hours before mine in Las Colinas. I had my colleague helping me with setting up a Live Meeting that we could record and reserved the room a half hour ahead of time so I could get all set up. Then the crazy floor plan struck. My conference room was nowhere near the other conference rooms with numbers right above and below mine. By the time I got to the conference room, I had only 5 minutes to get everything set up and the Live Meeting recording wouldn’t work. Then the people who came wouldn’t talk. It was pretty aggravating and I wasn’t having fun. I don’t think I won any credibility with my peers in the other organization either.

When the round-table was done, I got to work on some other things I needed to do and got them all taken care of. I thought my plane left at 2:40, so I got on my way at 1:20. I got directions from my colleague to get to the airport so I wouldn’t waste any time. Well, I made two mistakes there. First, the flight was leaving at 2:20, not 2:40. Second, I got directions to the north end of the airport. That meant I had to drive all the way through the 5 miles of airport with the arrival and departure traffic.

When I finally got to the rental car return, it was so crowded I had to wait another 10 minutes to get out of there. The only good side of this was that it gave me time to change my blistered feet out of the offending shoes and into more comfortable shoes. On top of everything else, I made a really bad footwear choice for the day.

I finally arrived at the terminal at 1:48. I knew you needed 30 minutes to check in, so I ran to the kiosk to get in there under the wire. Then the kiosk asked me which later flight I wanted. I was crushed. I went to the counter and the woman told me it was 40 minutes for checked bags. I asked if I could get my bag back and go on the earlier flight. She stopped the belt, grabbed my bag, looked at the ticket and told me not to bother. I was in terminal C and the earlier flight was in terminal A. There was no way I could make it. I resigned myself to 2 hours in the airport and got in line for security.

I called the DH to tell him I’d be later than planned and started to cry. I was so tired and just wanted to be home again. Instead, I nursed my blistered feet and found a stuffed armadillo for the DH and enjoyed a salad at Chili’s. When I got home, the DH had a wonderful dinner prepared for me and we fell into bed shortly after eating dinner. I think that’s about the happiest I’ve ever been to get home from a trip.